‘The Stolen Scream’ is one of the most well-known photos you can find online these days. It can be found on different products such as T-shorts, mugs, etc., book covers in a wide range of countries (more than 30 – 40 he says); in some states, it has even became a revolutionary sign used by the youth fighting against the oppressive central system.
This picture was made so visible on in the online medium through online intellectual property theft. Noam Galai, a New York-based Israeli photographer took some self-portrait photos in 2006. Little did he know, when posting several of them on one of his Facebook account, that his image would become so huge all over the entire world. He found about this intellectual property theft after one of his co-workers told him he saw his picture on a shirt in the subway in the morning; and soon he also discovered loads of that kind of pieces of clothing in a store in Soho.
He even got his portrait published in Glimpse magazine, which is National Geographic’s journal on politics and related subjects. This was the only paid appearance of Noam’s face in the media. But before that, many artist or simple people around the world has used it both for personal and for commercial purposes. He found his picture on different products worldwide, and even in Iranian protests against the government. Noam does not have anything against for simple people to use this for various purposes, but he is very disturbed when other artists or even big companies use it in order to make big bucks and do not pay any revenue at all for using his face.
Noam Galai’s Stolen Scream. Photo by Noam Galai
He likes being popularized worldwide and his work being so appreciated, but it’s all a little bitter sweet, because people know his work through online intellectual property theft. He even tried once to sell the picture to a stock image service, which refused him, saying the pic would not be of interest to many people. Quite funny, don’t you think; as that picture is so well-known worldwide now.
Lesson learned: Beware on how and where you share you work and pictures online!
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